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About the Congressional Record
After each day that Congress is in session, the proceedings are printed in the Congressional Record (CR) and available the following morning.
New daily issues, reporting business from the previous day if either the House or Senate or both met, are usually available by 10:00 am. Late availability, often due to a late night Congressional session, is announced on the Most Recent Issue page. You can also subscribe to daily email alerts for new CR issues.
Daily Congressional proceedings may include legislative activity by the chambers and their committees, Member remarks, communications from the president, and more (described below in Congressional Record Sections). Note that official records of House and Senate actions are recorded in their respective journals.
Congress.gov provides numerous ways to access the CR. Among them are:
Scope of Coverage
Congress.gov provides full-text access to daily CR issues dating from 1995 (beginning with the 104th Congress). New issues become available on Congress.gov shortly after they are published on GPO’s govinfo usually before 10:00 am. Late availability, often due to a late night Congressional session, is announced on the Most Recent Issue page. Issues are not usually printed for days that neither the Senate nor House met.
Congressional Record Bound Edition
At the end of each session of Congress, all of the daily editions are collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed into a permanent, bound edition. This permanent edition, referred to as the Congressional Record (Bound Edition), is made up of one volume per session of Congress, with each volume published in multiple parts, each part containing approximately 10 to 20 days of Congressional proceedings. The primary ways in which the bound edition differs from the daily edition are continuous pagination; somewhat edited, revised, and rearranged text; and the dropping of the prefixes H, S, and E before page numbers.
Congress.gov provides access to the Bound Edition of the Congressional Record from 1945 (79th Congress) through 1994 (103rd Congress). A project is underway to add older volumes. See Coverage Dates for current information on Congressional Record volumes available on Congress.gov.
Browsing the Congressional Record
Searching the Congressional Record
Congressional Record Sections
The CR is a daily account of the business conducted by each chamber and their committees. Each issue may include these sections:
Daily Digest is the default view for the CR. It provides a summary of the previous day’s legislative activity. These headings may be present within the Daily Digest section:
Senate business conducted in the Senate chamber and committees. These headings may be present within the Senate section:
House business conducted in the House chamber and committees. These headings may be present within the House section:
Extensions of Remarks used only by House of Representative members to publish additional statements not actually delivered on the House floor.
Congressional Record Citations
Daily edition – Four distinct sections and page number series are within each daily issue. Page numbers are preceded by single letters designating the section, and require a volume number or date to be unique:
Bound edition – After the end of each year, a permanent final version, referred to as the Congressional Record ‘bound edition’, is prepared by GPO. In the bound edition, the pagination is continuous, and there is some editing and rearrangement of texts.
Citations for daily edition issues differ from citations to the bound edition. Compare citations from both editions that have this title CONFERENCE REPORT ON HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 83, CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002:
History of the Congressional Record
The CR has been published by the GPO since 1873. Before 1873, records of congressional proceedings were kept under various titles: Annals of Congress, Register of Debates and Congressional Globe. Reporters of Debate and the Congressional Record provides narrative history.
Senate.gov features a digital library of Résumés of Congressional Activity dating from 1947.
Century of Lawmaking provides full-text access to the “permanent edition” of the CR, and its previous titles, from 1789-1875 (1st through the 43rd Congresses).
Print format documents on various media (paper, microfiche, etc.) may be available at a federal depository library.
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